What You’re NOT Thinking About When Deciding Where to Stay at Disney World

Price is perhaps the biggest factor when deciding where to stay on a Walt Disney World vacation, but there are other things you’re likely NOT considering that you totally should!

Grand Floridian Lobby

Here are things you’re NOT considering when you choose your Walt Disney World Resort.

Location and Proximity to the Parks

Disney World is massive; it’s roughly the same size as the city of San Francisco. That means that the location of your hotel is an important factor to consider. Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, for example, is just about as close as you can get to Magic Kingdom, but you’ll be far from the other three theme parks.

Hop on the Monorail at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa for a direct trip to Magic Kingdom!

If you know you’ll be spending a lot of time at EPCOT on your next vacation, consider staying in one of the resorts located in the EPCOT area. Disney’s Beach Club Resort, Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, and Disney’s BoardWalk Inn are are literally steps away from World Showcase — it can’t be beat.

Disney’s Beach Club Resort

When you’re looking through your resort options, pull up a map of Disney World and take a look at where on property the hotels are located. A hotel’s location could have a big impact on how long it takes to get from point A to point B.

Google Map of Disney World

Transportation Options

Every Disney World hotel offers complimentary transportation to and from the theme parks as well as Disney Springs. The bus system is available at each resort, but on top of that, other hotels may offer additional means of getting around. If you fancy a trip on the Disney Skyliner, consider staying at one of the hotels that are located along the Skyliner route. These include Disney’s Pop Century Resort, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, and Disney’s Riviera Resort.

The Disney Skyliner takes you to EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios!

Of course there are the three Monorail resorts — Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, and Disney’s Contermpoary Resort — all minutes away from Magic Kingdom.

Monorail to Magic Kingdom

There are also several hotels that offer boat transportation to various destinations, including Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney Springs.

Friendship Boat

No matter which Disney World hotel you choose, you’ll have at least the bus system to rely on to transport you around property. Not everyone enjoys relying solely on the buses, however, so take a look at which transportation options are available at your hotel before booking.

Disney Bus Stop

The SIZE of the Resort

Disney World hotels come in all shapes and sizes. You’ll find plenty of elbow room at most of the resorts, but there are definitely a select few hotels that are significantly larger than others.

Caribbean Beach

These large resorts have their pros and cons. The most glaring drawback relates back to our point above about the Disney World bus system. Larger resorts have multiple internal bus stops — adding several minutes to your travel time. Depending on where you room is located, it can be quite the hike to get to any resort amenities.

When people think about large, sprawling resorts, Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa is often the first one that comes to mind!

The upside to a larger resort is that the sprawling layout offers added peace and quiet when you aren’t at the theme parks. Since those rooms and buildings are so spread out, you’ll find that you aren’t as “on top” of other guests as you may be at other hotels, which makes for a more relaxing vibe.

Disney’s Old Key West Resort

Dining Options

If you plan on spending a day at your resort or you plan on shorter days in the theme parks, dining options could be a major make-or-break factor to look into. In short, Disney World’s Value Resorts do not have any Table Service restaurants and will typically only have one Quick Service dining location at each hotel.

Everything Pop

Disney World’s Moderate Resorts typically have one Table Service restaurant available in addition to Quick Service restaurants, and the Deluxe Resorts will have at least one Table Service restaurant available. You’re always welcome to book a Dining Reservation at other hotels, but if you’re looking for the convenience of dining options close by, the added price per night may be worth it.

Three Bridges at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort — the Moderate resort with the most dining options!

Theming and Ambiance

Finally, each Disney World hotel is unique in its theming. This theming may cater to certain parties more than others. For example, the larger-than-life artwork and statues at some of the Value Resorts may be perfect for families with young kids, but it’s not for everyone!

All-Star Movies

Like dining, the theming and ambiance of the resort will matter more if you’re considering taking a day off from the theme parks, or you’re planning on spending more time overall at your resort. Disney World offers everything from fun and colorful theming to modern and chic designs. Take a look at the resort pages on our site to learn more about their theming.

Disney’s Art of Animation Resort has larger-than-life theming

The price tag of your hotel room is a major deciding factor in choosing which Disney World resort to call “home” for the week, but it doesn’t stop there! If you pick a resort based purely on cost, you may be missing out on other amenities that your family would find valuable! So do your due diligence to get to know the resorts you’re considering — that way, you’ll make the most informed decision, and maybe even find your new favorite resort!

What is your favorite Disney World hotel? Let us know in the comments!

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One Reply to “What You’re NOT Thinking About When Deciding Where to Stay at Disney World”

  1. I didn’t really consider how far away GFV was from all the other parks until our last trip when we stayed there with my 2 yo daughter. We usually stayed at the BWV, but figured to stay closer to the MK for my daughter. The bus rides were long and the monorail repeatedly was breaking down. I think it took us 45 minutes one time to get to Epcot. I guess after staying so many times at the BWV you get spoiled being able to walk to 2 parks and having 15 minute bus rides or less to AK and MK.

    The day we left DHS my daughter fell asleep in the stroller so we walked to Epcot instead of waking her up to get on the bus. Allowed us to have a beverage at on our stroll.